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7 Space-Saving Alternatives to a Traditional Bedside Table

Space-saving bedside tables

When figuring out the layout of a small bedroom, it is inevitable that you will have to sacrifice a few pieces of furniture and the bedside tables are usually the first to go. This doesn’t mean your possessions will be relegated to the floor; you just need to think a little creatively about what could work as a nightstand. The good news is, most space-saving alternatives are a lot cheaper than most traditional bedside tables and provide just enough room for your nightly essentials. These are seven of our favourites.

1. Stools

Small bedside table alternatives

Stools have a much smaller footprint than most side tables making them a good choice in a tiny bedroom. Pick up a real bargain from a flea market or eBay. These Ercol ones were found on gumtree. If you have a low platform bed, a milking stool will work well. Using a stool as a nightstand is a great way to ensure you have some extra seating dotted around the house should you need it. In a small space, multifunctional furniture is a must.

2. Plant Stands

Small bedside table idea
Image credit: The Grit and Polish

If you want the look of a more traditional bedside table but need one that doesn’t take up as much space, then a plant stand could be the answer. Cathy from the Grit and Polish took a simple, IKEA plant stand to squeeze in two nightstands in this small master bedroom. She used wall sconces to keep the table clutter free, and the result is beautifully simple.

If you wanted to jazz it up a little, you could add a custom wood top. For less than £50 and a tiny bit of DIY you’ve got yourself a fancy new nightstand.

3. Wine Crates

If you want a slimline nightstand and like a vintage, handmade home an old wine crate is an easy and cheap option. Tall enough for most standard beds and wide enough to hold that Friday night glass of wine.

4. Picture Ledge

Picture ledge as bedside shelf
Image found via Pinterest

One of the cheapest hacks out there. If your bed is pushed against a wall, why not run a £5 IKEA picture ledge parallel to the bed. At just 10cm deep this is taking up very little space, but there's still room for your stuff.

5. Wall Shelf

Image credit: Apartment Therapy

If a table is an absolute no go, a shelf is your next best bet. They can be positioned either parallel to the long side of the bed or above the headboard. They provide enough room for a couple of books, a clock etc.

6. Telephone Tables

Telephone tables are probably a little redundant in most homes these days so why not repurpose in the bedroom. Telephone tables are great in narrow spaces as it is tough to find tall, slim bedsides. This one is a real bargain. To give it a bit more oomph you could buy some new hardware. Anthropologie does great knobs and handles which could transform this table into something pretty special.

7. Candle Holders

Bedside table alternatives for small space
£19.99 on Amazon (affiliate link)

If you are looking for something decorative, to balance out and ‘finish’ the room, a wall sconce, candle holder could be just the ticket. Use as intended with some lovely pillar candles or leave bare as a place to hold a vase/plant pot or glass of water.

This one from Amazon would add a rustic touch to a bedroom (affiliate link)

For more small bedroom ideas, shop our curated edits of small space bedroom furniture.

Space saving bedside table ideas